LHP Leads & Breaks is a baserunning drill to introduce the approach taken against a left-handed pitcher (LHP). Because lefty’s face the runner, baserunner actions are organized into simple categories: Conservative, Normal, and Aggressive. Use multiple lines at either the Warm Up box, foul line, or first-base area. Combine baserunning instruction with sprint work to achieve both a learning lesson as well as a workout.
EXECUTION – First teach the options available to a baserunner against a left-handed pitcher (see below). Then, with runners at the warm up cones, foul line, or first base area, instruct the ‘live athlete’ at each line to take a lead. Work through the three options predictably, teaching the mental and physical fundamentals to each situation. Eventually, the group will reach “live reps” where you can act as a left-handed pitcher and take the mound accordingly. Add leg lifts, pickoffs, and divebacks.
- Conservative – JAB STEP – Small step back with left foot at pitcher leg lift. Eyes stay on pitcher long. Verbal: “Jab step and secondary”
- Normal – Normal lead, normal read. Verbal: “Normal”
- Aggressive – First movement steal. Essentially, these are breaks against a left handed pitcher. Verbal: “First movement”
Predictable: Work through the three options predictably. All athletes first execute the conservative ‘jab step’. Then, all athletes have the steal sign and are instructed to break on the pitcher’s first movement.
Leads & Breaks: Eventually, this is simply a variation of Leads & Breaks. Call out the situation: Jab step, first-movement steal, or normal lead and add various stuffs: Pitcher doing leg lefts, picks, sprint work, dive backs, etc.
- Jab Step – Teach the simple fundamentals of why and how. Short chop-step with left foot to physically remind the runner that he CANNOT be picked in this situation. Reminder: A jab step is put in when we do NOT want to be picked. Ensure it is clear to runners that they ARE stepping backwards… so DON’T GET PICKED!!!
- Eyes on Pitcher Long – Biggest key to avoiding the dreaded pick off is to keep the eyes on the pitcher as long as possible. Late secondary shuffle is okay.
- Inside Lane – On first-movement steal against a left-handed pitcher, the baserunner should run near the inside part of the basepath. This forces the first baseman’s throw around his body in the case of a pick-off.
- Simplify – Keep it THIS simple for left-handed leadoffs. Normal (all remains unchanged) vs. No Picks (conservative) vs. Steal (aggressive)
- PREDICTABLY EXECUTE OPTIONS
- TEACH FIRST
- LIVE LEADS & BREAKS (VS LHP)
- JAB STEP
- EYES ON PITCHER LONG
- INSIDE LANE ON PICKOFF
- KEEP IN SIMPLE